I started my watch overlooking the tank on No.6 where the rising tide on the River Mersey a mile away would hopefully bring in a few shorebirds. The water level was high but after over night rain it was even higher than yesterday. I wasn’t really expecting a great turn out of birds from the norm, but a surprise was in store. A flock of Black-tailed Godwit were already in situ in the shallow waters and during the course of the tide they were added to by other birds.
I estimated the flock after scrutinising their numbers to be 2841 (give or take a few tens). I made a maximum count of 8 juvenile birds, so quite a low percentage of young birds to that of the flock.
It wasn’t until much later into my watch and when the godwits had scattered slightly that I found a summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit (which I wasn’t expecting). On the tide a meager flock of 20 Common Ringed Plover, and just a handful of Dunlin were obviously restricted by the water level.
If there is an enterprising ‘conservation’ minded director at Peel/MSC who could help out thousands of wading birds during their perilous migration south, then please reduce the water table on No.6 tank (asap), less is more.
A further look along the margins of the vegetated areas brought out 2 Common Snipe, 3 Ruff and a single Common Greenshank.
The gull flock were mostly Black-headed with 4 adult and a juvenile Common Gull being oted.
Earlier the dull low cloud brought down 8 Common Swift (another 6 were over Weston later in the day), the occasional Cetti’s Warbler could be heard and a charm of c350 European Goldfinch were nearly robbed of their wing bling by a marauding juvenile Sparrowhawk. A few Western Reed Warbler could still be found in gaps between the reed beds throughout the day.
All in all not a bad return for my efforts.
Observer and images: WSM.